Study Guide

Tangerine Lies and Deceit

By Edward Bloor

Lies and Deceit

But I can see. I can see everything. I can see things that Mom and Dad can't. Or won't. (Prologue.1.25)

Is everything that Paul sees the truth, though? Those are some pretty thick glasses. How can we be sure that Paul's vision is clear?

Erik was as phony as he needed to be. (1.3.39)

And Paul is as computery as he needs to be. Ha! See what we did there? But… think about it. Why is Erik being phony? Who is the real Erik?

[He should be] fired for what, Dad? For telling us the truth? For telling us something that you didn't know? (1.4.6)

Hmmm…who else do we know that gets this mad when someone shows him up? Erik, maybe? We're thinking there's a family resemblance in how well Mr. Fisher and Erik deal with the truth. (Not well.)

But of course [Mom] will never tell me about it. Just like she would never have told Grandmom and Grandpop about hating any of those moves of her childhood. (1.4.10)

There's a lot of repression of all kinds going on in the Fisher fam. The question is, do they not talk because of the way they are, or are they the way they are because they don't talk? Tricky.

Erik was telling his friends this story: The reason for the Coke-bottle glasses on my eyes was that I had stared at the sun, unprotected, during that eclipse. The story puzzles me then, and it puzzles me now. Puzzled or not, I went right along with the story. (1.6.8-10)

It's weird that Paul did go along with the story, when he clearly knows that there's something off about it. Did he still trust his brother to tell the truth at that point? Or does he not trust his own memory?

But if that's the truth, if that really happened, why can't I remember it? (1.6.54)

Does someone have to remember something for it to be true? If a tree falls in the forest, and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound? Have we blown your mind yet? Because we could keep going.

Why couldn't I tell my own parents about Erik? What was wrong with me? What was wrong with all of us? (3.2.2)

Sorry, buddy: there's a lot wrong with you, and the fact that you can't tell your parents that you know Erik's a psychopath is only one part of it. The good news is, you'll be doing a lot better by the end of the novel.

There's no big mystery here. The truth about Luis is obvious to all of the people around him. Their lives are not made up of bits and pieces and versions of the truth. They don't live that way. They know what really happened. Period. Why would that seem so mysterious to me? (3.7.17)

If you grow up with certain things, you tend to think they're normal. Like if you grow up with sea monkeys as parents, then you don't understand why people don't like having little underwater fishy treats thrown at them.

"They're lying to you. They're telling you a story just so they can keep you scared" (3.7.24)

First of all, mean. Don't scare the 5-year-old. Second, it sounds more like Paul's talking to himself. (Dude, that's what the journal is for.)

Antoine said quietly, "It's time to start telling the truth, little brother. Do you understand what I'm saying? […] The truth shall set you free" (3.10.44-45)

Right. Unless you're the one who committed the crime. In which case, you get locked up. But we think Antoine is probably talking about having a clean conscience here.

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